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Melbourne Football Club

Spargo’s dream debut comes true

Rd 6: Charlie Spargo post-match Matt Burgan speaks to Charlie Spargo after a great win over Essendon
It was terrific to get a win in my first game – something pretty special and something I’ll never forget, [particularly] with a great bunch of blokes, [as] they’ve been really, really good to me since I’ve been here
Charlie Spargo

CHARLIE Spargo couldn’t have wished for a better AFL debut.

The 1338th player to don the red and blue since it became a foundation VFL/AFL club in 1897, the nippy, but tough-as-teak small forward, not only provided plenty of spark and spunk early on, he was pivotal to Melbourne remaining in touch in the first half.

He booted two goals – both in the second term – before finishing with 18 disposals in an impressive first-up appearance.

For the 18-year-old – he turns 19 in November and is Melbourne’s youngest listed player – the day was one to remember, as he explained.

“It was awesome. Melbourne footy club has been really good to me, ever since I got drafted and came in,” he told Melbourne Media.

“It was terrific to get a win in my first game – something pretty special and something I’ll never forget, [particularly] with a great bunch of blokes, [as] they’ve been really, really good to me since I’ve been here.

“And, also, a shout out to James Harmes – it was great to get a win in his 50th game.”

The former Murray Bushranger, who hails from Albury, said his preparation for the match went to plan, while some assistance from another first-year Demon also helped.

“I got good sleep the night before, which always helps. I slept in a fair bit, so I didn’t have much time to think about it. But I didn’t know how to get here [to Etihad Stadium], so I followed Bayley Fritsch in the car. We got here way too early, but that didn’t matter, because we got in and prepared,” he said.

“I warmed up and it was awesome to play on Etihad [Stadium] and I had the jumper presentation with Dad. He’s been someone who’s always helped me with my footy and given me advice, since he had a lot of experience playing.

“He’s never pressured me and he’s always been really good to me, and if I ever needed anything. But he’s never forced me to play footy or anything like that. He just said ‘play for your teammates and play the team structures’ and I think I did that pretty well today.”

And having played in a 36-point win only topped off the occasion for Spargo.

“What Goody (Simon Goodwin) said to me during the week was ‘play your role, be aggressive, tackle hard and run hard’ and that’s what I’ve been doing in the VFL,” he said.

“I think I came in and did that and I was pretty lucky to have a couple of balls bounce my way and get a couple of goals as well.

“[Overall] it was awesome. The crowd’s sick and running out with your mates is sick and then catching up friends afterwards, especially after a win, is awesome.”